It's been a tough Winter for our entire family with various strains of flu flying here, there and everywhere!
I suffered through the good old upper respiratory virus, only to be smacked with a terrible follow-up case of bronchitis. The sore throat and cough were the worst I've ever experienced, keeping me uncomfortable and sleepless for a full week. I had no choice but to find some relief apart from medications, so I tried absolutely EVERY natural remedy I could get my hands on. I finally ended up finding a truly magical elixir that really got the job done!
DIY Sore Throat and Cough Relief Recipe
This little mixture couldn't be much easier to make, considering that you most likely have all of these ingredients in your kitchen right now.
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- ¼ teaspoon freshly minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey (use a locally produced raw honey, if possible.)
Using a glass container with lid, first dissolve cayenne pepper in vinegar. Stir in the ginger and garlic, then add the honey and shake well. Take 1 tablespoon as needed for cough or sore throat. Note that fresh squeezed ginger and garlic juice can be used as well if you'd rather not run into potent little crunchy bits.
I'll be honest: I dreaded trying this crazy concoction, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how palatable it was.
P.S. I also sipped on Earth Mama's Organic Heartburn Tea for its marshmallow root which helps suppress coughing.
Why These 5 Particular Ingredients?
Garlic is a strong antiseptic with antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antispasmodic, antiparasitic and expectorant properties. Garlic has also been used for children with whooping cough, giving the juice of a garlic clove 2-3 times a day.
Keep in mind that odorless garlic capsules may not be as effective as fresh ingredients, whose odors can be minimized by chewing fresh mint.
Ginger has antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties. It boosts the immune system, warms and induces sweating (which helps push fever and toxins out of the body), and calms coughs and sore throats quickly. It also stimulates appetite, which is important to sick individuals weakened by infection.
The hotness produced by cayenne is caused by its high concentration of capsaicin.
Topical capsaicin has been shown in studies to be an effective treatment for cluster headaches, osteoarthritis pain and pain caused by diabetic neuropathy. I can verify that it certainly helped take the edge off my ultra sore throat!
Capsaicin not only reduces pain, but its also stimulates the mucus membranes lining the nasal passages to drain, helping to relieve congestion and stuffiness.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar has a litany of amazing uses. It just happens to be very helpful in soothing a sore throat, fighting the flu, and decreasing chest congestion.
Germ-busting vinegar also helps nip the infection process in the bud, as most germs can't survive in the acidic environment it creates.
Honey is proven to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Its consistency and coating ability make it very soothing for sore throats, coughs and bronchial ailments.
And let's not forget that honey hides a multitude of pungent tastes, making it the perfect companion for magic elixirs like this one!